America’s beer revolution rages with more force than ever. And if California is the revolution’s Lenin, Washington state is its Trotsky.
Four states account for one-third of all U.S. breweries — California, Washington, Colorado and Oregon, according to the Beer Institute, the beer crafters’ Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group.
Washington, with 251, is only second to California in number of breweries
— but the Evergreen State has a much better brewery-to-inhabitant ratio than the Golden State. We can claim a brewery per 27,000 inhabitants, while each of California’s 508 breweries represents about 74,800.
Washington also opened more new breweries than any other state except California last year — 62.
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That accounts for about 6.5 percent of the 948 mostly small breweries opened nationally in 2013. Not bad for a state where barely 2 percent of Americans live.
Washington’s role as a top brewer stems from the abundance of tasty Cascade hops and its early embrace of microbrewing, pioneered by the likes of Redhook and Pyramid.
Now it’s big business: As of 2012 it directly generated 23,870 jobs and had a direct economic impact of $1.5 billion, the institute says.
Most of the new permits went to brewpubs, among them Peddler Brewing in Ballard, which opened in March 2013.
Co-owner Haley Woods said that in Seattle and the Northwest, people are very interested to learn about beer in the same way they have embraced wine and coffee. That creates “a bigger opportunity for brewers to make unique styles of beer and have people appreciate it,” she said.
Woods and her partner David Keller opened Peddler after years of brewing beer at home.
For all its microbrew fervor, Washington is surprisingly moderate when it comes to imbibing. In 2012, per capita consumption of malt beverages averaged 24.8 gallons for people over 21, below the national average of 28.2.
Drinking-age North Dakotans, the national champions, each guzzle 45.8 gallons on average, the Beer Institute says.
iSpot tracks Super Bowl ads across all media
Puppies, Uncle Jesse, Beckham in his boxer briefs and the Muppets taking a ride with Terry Crews — this year’s Super Bowl commercials saw all the industry’s usual suspects, and the “winners” have been talked about ever since.
But — how is the winner determined?
Many sites just poll their visitors, but iSpot.tv, a Bellevue company, has created the technology to really figure it out. The site tracks everything from when and where the ad is played, to the online views it gets on YouTube, to the comments posted on social media.
“We were the live scoreboard for the Super Bowl advertisers, and a lot of the media used our data to figure out what ads did well,” said company founder and CEO Sean Muller. “But we actually do this every day, year-round.”
According to iSpot.tv, and other lists such as USA Today’s annual Super Bowl ad-meter rankings, the clear Super Bowl commercial winner was Budweiser’s Puppy Love, which depicts a bond between a Clydesdale horse and a puppy.
But iSpot.tv provides the reasons for the win. Since airing, the commercial has had more than 47 million online views and 1.1 million actions on social media. That’s more than 20 million online views ahead of the next-most-viewed ad — also by Budweiser: the Zipper ad featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger playing pingpong.
iSpot.tv weighs all the digital activity around a commercial against all the other commercials to calculate its “SpotShare percentage.”
Different activities, however, are weighted differently. An original share on Facebook for example, is worth more than liking someone else’s post.
The company, which raised $5 million from Madrona Venture Group and TL Ventures in October, doesn’t just look at Super Bowl ads. It measures thousands of TV commercials year-round, providing data to advertising agencies and cable networks across the country.
Muller says iSpot.tv’s customers use his data for three main reasons: to track ad performance, to figure out which networks and which times of day are most effective to advertise, and for competitive intelligence — for instance, T-Mobile looking at data on AT&T and Sprint commercials.
Clients pay $120,000 a year to iSpot.tv to license data, he said.
Muller, who has a background in digital content, formed iSpot.tv two years ago because he saw the industry lacking in real-time data available for TV advertisers.
He said there was a lag of four to six weeks from when an ad aired to when the advertisers received data from existing ad-tracking services like Nielsen or Kantar Media.
“I couldn’t even find out who made a commercial or when it ran,” he said. “I was literally Googling ads and couldn’t even find them.”
iSpots.tv’s Super Bowl Ad Center was up last year, but in more limited form.
Since January, when iSpot.tv launched a “digital matrix” allowing companies to license all the iSpot.tv’s data, not just TV data, Muller has seen a 30 percent increase in revenue.
In addition to almost all the major broadcasting networks using his data during the Super Bowl, 40 percent of the advertisers were either regular customers or used iSpot.tv data during the game, he said.
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